Recycle symbol


Plastic bottles, containers and packaging typically have a symbol that indicates the type of plastic resin from which the item was made.

The resin coding system was introduced in 1988 by the American Society of Plastics Industry (SPI). The symbols imprinted on plastic bottles, containers and packaging are a variation of the three thin arrows.

On bottles, the symbol can usually be found on the bottom, molded into the plastic itself as a raised impression and thus not always easily seen. The symbol includes a number within the arrows, and usually, but not always, the chemical resin below the arrows in acronym form. Although presence of the symbol implies that the plastic item is recyclable, the symbol is actually only intended to identify the plastic resin from which the item was made. Recyclability is ultimately determined by the local collections and reprocessing facilities.

      1 - PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) - Fizzy drink bottles and oven-ready meal trays.

      2 - HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) - Bottles for milk and washing-up liquids.

      3 - PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) - Food trays, cling film, bottles for squash, mineral water, plumbing parts & outdoor decking/fencing, just to name a few.

      4 - LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) - Carrier bags and bin liners.

      5 - PP (Polypropylene) - Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.

      6 - PS (Polystyrene) - Yoghurt pots, foamed meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.

      7 - OTHER (Any other plastics) that do not fall into any of the above categories, which is A Lot of different types.